From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you're here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.
After renouncing culinary school, Natalie Morris worked in the Phoenix food community connecting Valley farmers and chefs during her tenure for Community Food Connections, while writing for Edible Phoenix magazine and serving as Partnerships Chair for Slow Food Phoenix. She has her Master in Food Culture and Communications from the Universita degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche based out of Piedmont, Italy and now owns her own strategic services firm, Good Food Allies, creating marketing and fundraising programs in an effort to help small businesses thrive.
I arrived in Phoenix with... my mom and my dad, kicking and screaming at the now-defunct Phoenix Memorial Hospital as an Arizona-born.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... my love and support system, Chris; Albert Einstein for his mad brilliance; Slow Food founder, Carlo Petrini, for his insight; Nelson Mandela for his compassionate strength; and MFK Fisher, Jackie Kennedy and Eleanor Roosevelt for their well-deserved and earned respect as women of their time. It's just going to be have to be a table for 8...
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is.... any one of the local farmer's markets so they can taste Arizona products and meet the people that grew and made them.
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One menu item this city could do without is... locally sourced representation without the receipts to prove it.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... I'd take my slim to none chances that authentic Mexican food would be available at the next joint and grab some Rosa's from the Bianco's, goat cheese from Crow's Dairy and sweets from Tracy Dempsey, pair them with a 2010 Pink from Dos Cabezas, a Roan Red from Sam, a Syrah from Sierra Bonita, a Lisa's from Callaghan, a Rule of Three from Carlson Creek, a Malvasia from Sand Reckoner, some Italian Prosecco and an amaro. Grab the friends I have made from all walks of this Phoenix life and head to Camelback Mountain to eat together and watch the amazing Arizona sunset.
The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey 99: Craig DeMarco 98: Lara Mulchay 97: M.J. Coe 96: Betty Alatorre de Hong 95: Eric Schaefer 94: Hanna Gabrielsson 93: Shinji Kurita 92: Silvana Salcido Esparza 91: Mike Pitt 90: Christina Barrueta 89: Christopher Gross 88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung 87: DJ Fernandes 86: Cullen Campbell 85: Chris Lee 84. Gwen Ashley Walters 83: Tony Morales 82: Lylah Ledner 81: Andrea White 80: Lori Hashimoto 79. Mrs. White 78: Eugenia Theodosopolous 77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein 76: Anthony Patafio 75: Carl Seacat 74: Sacha Levine 73: Sharon Salomon 72: Johnny Chu 71: Susie Timm 70: Jason Silberschlag 69: Gina Miller 68: Cindy Gentry 67: Amy Binkley 66: Dave Anderson 65: Mark Tarbell 64: Marianne Belardi 63: Audrey Lasalle 62: Brandon Gauthier 61: Brad and Kat Moore 60: Denise Clayton 59: Nobuo Fukuda 58: Richie Moe 57: Robin Trick 56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia 55: Farah Khalid 54: Dave Andrea 53: Vincent Guerithault 52: Danielle Leoni 51: Stan Zawatski 50: Maya Dailey 49: Duc Liao 48: Lisa Reinhardt 47: Isam Saed 46: Greg Peterson 45: Marco Bianco 44: Mark Fratu 43: Wendell Crow 42. Barb Harris 41: Michael Perry 40: Jeff Kraus 39: Ryan Avery 38: Charleen Badman 37: Damon Brasch 36: Dwayne Allen 35: Jason Asher 34: Pamela Hamilton 33: Victoria Chavez 32: Giovanni Scorzo 31: Tim Wilson 30: Travis Nass 29: Jason Alford 28: Clint Spotleson 27: Daniel Wayne 26: Korina Adkins 25: Carla Wade Logan 24: Jeff Zimmerman 23: Gabriele Bertaccini 22: Claudio Urciuoli 21: Peter DeRuvo